La Morsure

Peggy Kamuf

in To Follow

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780748641543
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652136 | DOI:
La Morsure

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This chapter recounts the author's first meeting with Derrida in January 1974, when she began attending his seminar at the École Normale – on Kant's Third Critique – as well as a special seminar for students from Johns Hopkins, Cornell, and SUNY Buffalo on Nietzsche's Zarathustra. She felt especially lost in the latter context, disoriented and uncertain at every moment. It remains, therefore, a great mystery how it happened that, one day in the Zarathustra seminar, after Derrida proposed the theme of ‘la morsure’ as a good subject for an oral presentation, the author responded, before twenty or more witnesses, that she would do it the following week. La morsure, in other words: the bite. Derrida floated this suggestion for anyone to bite at. He knew that the word could lead one very far indeed into Nietzsche's text, but also that the paths in and out again were infinitely singular each time, each path following some desire and according to the shape of a particular wound, to a reality bite which had drawn blood.

Keywords: Derrida; Nietzsche; la morsure; oral presentation

Chapter.  1351 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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